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An Important Benefit to a Preference Management System: Centralizing Your Data

Type: Blog

It’s a problem we often see: a company engages with us to learn more about creating a method of organizing their customers’ preferences to reduce global opt-outs and increase loyalty and engagement. However, they have that data stored in too many locations. Customer support, marketing, sales, etc. all have different records kept for each contact in their CRM. How can they better survey what their customers want, when their contact records are “kept” in so many departments?

Fortunately for them, the result they are looking for (all their customer data in one place, and available to all of their relevant business units) should be built into the solution of creating a preference management system.

Preference management should be a central repository connected to all departments, units, and appropriate applications. If information isn’t easily available across the enterprise, customers will be lost through repetition, contradiction and frustration with a business that doesn’t seem to remember what they want and doesn’t send them the content they expect and need. That increases the risk and prevalence of contacts opting out globally, from all communications, forever.

The requirement for a centralized system underlines the need for a truly neutral preference management solution. Native architecture that is incompatible with various CRM systems, ESPs, or contact center management platforms is doomed to failure.

In addition, centralization of prospect and customer data is critical for compliance and risk mitigation. Centralization reduces risk and enhances safe harbor positioning by providing monitoring of critical compliance activities and establishing complete audit records of preference history. Moreover, it facilitates quick responses to inquiries and customer complaints and should improve vendor accountability through process and activity monitoring and alerts.

In short, centralization empowers oversight and allows for organizational governance. For example, when a leading satellite radio service began a preference management implementation project, its IT department discovered that preferences were being captured and stored in myriad disconnected systems, such as the website, contact center, marketing services, Excel spreadsheets, and more.

Alarmed by the risk presented by passive possession of so much data, the enterprise pivoted to an intensive process of assessment to determine what was valid and actionable, what was obsolete and what was simply irretrievable. They engaged PossibleNOW to act as that essential central repository, a proven architecture that could connect to their entire roster of stove-piped systems and frameworks.

We were able to implement a system that consolidated all the customer data that enterprise was handling, keeping them legally compliant (an important factor!) and helping them stay in contact with their customers, by reducing how often those customers were choosing to opt-out and remove themselves from communications.

The process of putting together a preference management system isn’t easy, and sometimes it seems like more bother than it’s worth to start the project. But it’s important – both for your customers’ sake and for risk compliance.


Ron Patrick is the Senior Director of Product Architecture for PossibleNOW. His team owns the product roadmaps for the MyPreferences and DNCSolution platforms, keeping them ahead of industry demands, emerging technologies and regulatory changes that impact customer deployments. Ron brings thirty years of experience in team building, product delivery, software architecture and development across a variety of industries.  His focus for the last decade has been high performance SaaS platforms, data platforms and analytics solutions. His team works closely with the sales and services organizations for customer engagements from first contact to go-live.

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